Online RTI Application: Your Key to Government Accountability and Transparency

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What is the Right to Information (RTI) Act?

Let’s quickly go through the Right to Information Act before getting into the specifics of the online RTI application. The RTI Act, passed by the Indian Parliament on October 12, 2005, intends to encourage accountability and transparency in the operation of public authorities. Every citizen has the legal right to access information owned by or controlled by any public entity.

The Act applies to federal, state, local, and non-profit organizations that receive significant government funding. It enables citizens to participate more fully in the democratic process by enabling them to look for information on government acts, choices, and policies.

In simple words, a law by which we can get information from the public Authorities. Public Authorities include Government and semi-government organizations and any organization which is funded or helped by the government authorities.

Channels under RTI Cell

Step 1. Applicant can forward RTI application to Central Public Information Officer/ State Public Information Officer through online or offline mode.

Step 2. If the Applicant is not satisfied with the reply of CPIO/SPIO, within 30 days of the reply he can file the first appeal to First Appellate Authority (FAA).

Step 3.  If the Applicant is not satisfied with the reply of the FAA he can approach to Chief Information Commissioner/State Information Commissioner within 90 days of reply of the FAA.

Step 4. Applicant can apply for Second Appeal after expiry of 45 days in case FAA not reply.

Procedure to file RTI application

RTI applications can be filed online as well as offline. A fee of Rs 10/- is charged for this. There is an RTI Cell in every department of the government and you have to send your RTI application to the PIO (public information officer) of that department the PIO will send the reply to the applicant within 30 days and if the PIO does not do so or the department gives wrong information Rs 250 or Rs.25000 per day will be fined by the (CIC) which comes under the jurisdiction of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).

The applicant has to submit the RTI application to the Public Information Officer, which can be CPIO (Central Public Information Officer) or SPIO (State Public Information Officer), CPIO can be Central Govt. Comes under Central Government and SPIO comes under State Government. There is no need to write CPIO or SPIO, we can submit the application by writing PIO only. If you are not satisfied with the information provided by the PIO (Public Information Officer) or the PIO is not responding to your application or the information provided is incorrect. The applicant can go for the first appeal to FAA (First Appellate Authority) and if the applicant is not satisfied with the information provided by FAA then the applicant can proceed for a second appeal or Chief Information Commissioner Can complain to (CIC).

Procedure for submitting RTI application online

Step 1. Go to the RTI portal to fill out and submit the form – Click here 

Step 2. If not satisfied, approach the online FAA by filing the first appeal – Click here

Step 3. To view the status of the RTI application – Click here

Step 4. If not satisfied approach to CIC (chief information Commissioner) for a second appeal or complaint – Click here

Step 5. To know the status of the second appeal – Click here

Watch the related video to file Online RTI

How to file an RTI application, First Appeal, Second appeal, and Complaint to CIC

Procedure for Submitting Offline RTI Application

In order to submit an offline RTI (Right to Information) application, a written request must be physically prepared and delivered to the appropriate government agency or public body.

Link for forms used in offline RTI application:    

(a)       RTI application format download – Click here

(b)       First appeal  – Click here

(c)        Second appeal/complaint to (CIC) Chief Information Officer – Click here

Watch the related video to file Second Appeal to CIC Online and Offline

Exemptions from the Right to Information ACT, 2005

(i)         Any type of Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret document can affect the internal as well as external security of the country.

(ii)        Personal information like assets, liabilities, Annual Confidential Reports or performance records, and service details of a public servant are exempted from RTI Act, 2005 unless there is public interest involved. The said information can only be obtained with the approval of the CIC (Chief Information Commissioner).

(iii)       The RTI Act is not applicable to Private Companies. But Private Companies which are funded by the government come under the RTI Act.

(iv)       Private universities and schools being private entities do not come under the RTI Act only the regulation and management of private schools are covered under this act. Schools receive any type of benefits from the government that come under this Act. (Like funds, grants, etc)

(v)        Private Hospitals being private entities do not come under the RTI Act. But all the Private Hospitals taking benefit of Government sponsored insurance schemes come under the purview of this Act.

RTI First Appeal Time Limit

If no reply is received from the Public Information Officer (PIO). The first appeal can be filed on completion of 30 days from the date of application. If the applicant is not satisfied with the reply of the PIO, he can file a first appeal within 30 days from the date of receipt of the reply from the PIO.

RTI Second Appeal Time Limit

In case the FAA does not respond, the applicant may apply for a second appeal after the expiry of 45 days. If the applicant is not satisfied with the FAA’s reply, he can go for a second appeal within 90 days from the date of the FAA’s reply.

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